Cowspiracy at the KPL

Don’t forget to register at EventBrite for the Thursday evening special free screening of the “Cowspiracy” documentary tomorrow (Thursday, April 20th, 2017) at the KPL main branch.

an investigation of food industry sustainability

Doors open at 6:30!

There will be a fabulous selection of pre-film snackage before the movie (6:30 – 6:45pm) as well as wonderful door prizes from Cafe PyrusBlack Arrow CyclesLucia’s Vegan Catering and The Avocado Co-op.

Film screening will begin promptly at 6:45.

See you tomorrow ~ they still have some room, so bring a friend!

6:45pm—8:45pm
Special screening of the documentary COWSPIRACY & Talk

Kitchener Public Library, Central Branch
85 Queen Street North, Kitchener
brought to us by Divest Waterloo, Citizens’ Climate Lobby Waterloo Region, Food Not Bombs, Climate Vegan
View map of library location
Bus Routes # 8 University – Fairview Park (View Route Map)
Please Register at EventBrite. This a FREE event but seating is limited
http://kwpeace.ca/event/cowspiracy-screening-and-talk/?instance_id=3224

Earth Month Plus

Here’s a sampling of things for Waterloo Region Greens to do in Earth Month and beyond.  (I’ll update the calendar later tonight)

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

2:00pm4:00pm
Kitchener-Conestoga
Michael Harris MPP Town Hall

Breslau Community Centre,
100 Andover Drive, Breslau
michael.harris@pc.ola.org
226.750.1731

Kitchener Public Library7:00pm–9:00 pm
U of W Sustainability lecture at Kitchener Public Library

KPL Central Branch,
85 Queen St N, Kitchener, Ontario
Canada N2H 2H1
http://kwpeace.ca/event/public-lecture-powershiftwr-transforming-energy-in-waterloo-region/?instance_id=3171


Thursday, April 20th, 2017

8:30am—1:00pm
Energize: Sustainable City Challenge

Sustainability Challenge at UofW
200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, Ontario
Canada N2L 3G1
http://kwpeace.ca/event/energize-sustainable-city-challenge/?instance_id=3170

6:45pm—8:45pm
Special screening of the documentary COWSPIRACY & Talk

Kitchener Public Library, Central Branch
85 Queen Street North, Kitchener
Divest Waterloo/Citizens’ Climate Lobby Waterloo Region/Food Not Bombs/Climate Vegan
View map of library location
Bus Routes # 8 University – Fairview Park (View Route Map)
Please Register at EventBrite. This a FREE event but seating is limited
http://kwpeace.ca/event/cowspiracy-screening-and-talk/?instance_id=3224


Friday April 21, 2017

7pm—9pm
WRGreens Meet & Greet with Provincial Leader Mike Schreiner

TWB Cooperative Brewing, 300 Mill St., Kitchener
Green Party of Ontario leader Mike Schreiner is visiting Waterloo Region as part of his spring leader’s tour.
Come meet Mike, hang out with your fellow Greens, share your thoughts, and discuss the local issues that matter to you.
The meet-and-greet will end with a no-holds-barred live interview about beer regulation hosted by local comedian Michael Masurkevitch of We Are Millennials.
Invite your friends!

Saturday April 22nd, 2017 ~ EARTH DAY #EarthDay

8:30am—12 noon
Woolwich Community Clean Up

Please contact Ann for a location near you.  aroberts@woolwich.ca or 519 669-6027
http://calendar.woolwich.ca/Default/Detail/2017-04-22-Woolwich-Community-Clean-up-Day

9:00am—12 noon
Cambridge Community Clean Up: City Green Booths Open

Pick up your supplies from the City Green Booth nearest you and do your clean up when it’s convenient for you.

Cambridge City Green booth locations :
1. Holiday Inn Drive Tim Hortons parking lot
2. Galt Arena Gardens
3. St. Benedicts/Clemens Mill Library Branch
4. Victoria Park (Salisbury Ave corner of the park just before Highland Public School)
5. Monsignor Doyle Secondary School
https://www.meetup.com/Cambridge-City-Green/events/237639111/

12:30pm
March For Science

Waterloo Town Square
75 King Street South, Waterloo ON


Saturday April 29th, 2017

12:00 Noon
People’s Climate March Ottawa

Confederation Park• Laurier Ave W & Elgin St, Ottawa, Canada K1P 5J2
https://actionnetwork.org/events/ottawa-peoples-climate-march


Tuesday May 2nd, 2017

6:30pm
Waterloo Green Party of Canada EDA AGM

Right before the Pub Night
TWB Cooperative Brewing,
300 Mill St., Kitchener
https://www.facebook.com/events/205769696588910

7:00pm—9:00pm
Waterloo Greens Pub Night: Discuss International Trade Deals

TWB Cooperative Brewing,
300 Mill St., Kitchener
Would “developing” countries be better or worse off without free trade?
What benefits has NAFTA brought to Canadian workers?
Learn and discuss questions like these with our international trade learning community. Join us for some beer and casual conversation about this thorny topic.
* The event is free, purchase of beer is not neccessary, and the space is wheelchair accessible. No food available for purchase but feel free to bring your own. If you have any questions, please email the organizer, Julia Gogoleva, at julia.gogoleva@gmail.com.

Thursday May 11th, 2017

7:00pm—9:00pm
The Case for Divesting from Fossil Fuels in Canada

CIGI
67 Erb St W
Waterloo, ON N2L 6C2

Divest Waterloo/CIGI to host an evening with Jeff Rubin, a world-leading energy expert and former chief economist at CIBC World Markets. As a senior fellow CIGI, Jeff has written extensively on the future of the Canadian oil sands and the financial imperative to shift our economy away from fossil fuel dependence. Jeff will be speaking at CIGI to address pension fund managers, members of the finance and insurance industries, and the general public about the financial case for divesting from fuels.

http://kwpeace.ca/event/the-case-for-divesting-from-fossil-fuels-in-canada/?instance_id=3216


Saturday June 3rd, 2017

1:30pm—4:30pm
Alliance Against Poverty Free Transit for Low Income Individuals – Community Forum

in the fully-accessible downstairs hall of Historic St. Paul’s Lutheran Church
137 Queen Street South, Kitchener, Ontario N2G 1W2
Facebook Page:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1889874274570672/?notif_t=plan_user_invited&notif_id=1492300444693992

Tickets available at Eventbrite
https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/free-transit-for-low-income-individuals-community-forum-tickets-33236845299?aff=efbevent

Go Green on Social Media

social-media-iconsThe Green Party doesn’t have a massive “war chest.”  We don’t have corporate or union donors and the big advertising budgets they bring.

Our strength is in our grass roots… ordinary Canadians who think green thoughts. People who want a greener future. Not just for us, but for our kids. And posterity.
wrgreens-logo-banner
What we do have is ideas.  Ideas worked out by members. Ideas expressed in policy, blogs, and multimedia.  Because the Green Party doesn’t have big advertising budgets, it is very hard to get green ideas reported in Main Stream Media (MSM).

But we can get our ideas out there— if we work together.

You can help these ideas take root and grow by sharing them with your social media network.

Some people hesitate about sharing links to articles & videos. We worry that talking about politics online will alienate our family and friends.  Let’s face it: we all have family and friends with different ideas.  Some support other parties, and certainly many — probably even most — don’t support any party or even consider themselves political.

The Internet is still new enough that it’s easy to forget the reason it exists is to make it easy to exchange information.

Social Media is for sharing our interests with our family and friends.   Maybe you’re a Green Party member, supporter, or even voter.  But maybe you’re not, maybe you don’t like the Green Party candidate in your riding, maybe you don’t agree with everything in Green Party policy.   But chances are good that anyone reading this is interested in at least some green ideas.

If we each share one green idea, article, or video on social media each day, we aren’t likely to alienate anyone.  Especially as Facebook and Twitter have taken to limiting which of our posts our friends and family actually see.   The beauty of social media sharing is that there is no need to argue or try to convert anyone.  By sharing articles that resonate with us, we’re giving our friends and family an opportunity to learn what’s important to us — very often information they won’t see in the MSM.  If they aren’t interested, they won’t read that article or watch that video.  But maybe they will.

Even if they just skip over that Tweet or Facebook post, the fact you’ve shared it increases how far Twitter or Facebook will share.  Even if our family and friends don’t read our blog articles, or look at our videos, or look at our graphics, you’ll help WRGreens increase our “Google juice” just by sharing.

Especially in a world where the first official act of the new American president was to take down the American Government Climate Change page, it becomes more and more evident we can no longer afford a way of life that puts corporate interests ahead of the public interest. We can’t put profits ahead of clean air and fresh water.  So please, help us make social media work for us.

Let’s work together to change the world.

Answers to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation Petition

Canadian Taxpayers Federation ad in my Facebook feed says:

Justin Trudeau wants to tax carbon to impact climate change.
The Problem: Canada isn’t producing enough to make an impact.
Sign The Petition!
Click “Sign Up” to sign a petition to demand Trudeau Stop the Implementation of a carbon tax.

I was curious to see what the Petition actually said, so I did click on the link.

Canadian Taxpayers Federation Petition
But instead of a petition,
screenshot-2-facebook-opera
what popped up was an attempt to harvest my personal data.

astroturf

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised after reading the recent CBC article, “Canadian Taxpayers Federation has 5 members — why should we care what they think? that busts the Canadian Taxpayers Federation as astroturf (a fake “grass roots” organization).

Even so, lots of people are going to read this and be misled.
A look at the top of the comments gave me a couple of excellent rebuttals:

Dave Urquhart writes:

Canada is home to 0.56% of the population.

If you do the math, we’re emitting at a level 3 times greater than the average of the rest of the world.

If you take into consideration that emissions stay in our atmosphere for millennia, the 1.65% number isn’t even close to what our contribution has been toward climate change. It will take a world war mobilization type effort to avert runaway climate change.

I don’t agree with a cap and trade system, and believe that the generous subsidies that we provide for the fossil fuel industry should be eliminated as well, but a price on carbon will be required to get the masses out of their emissions comfort zones. The tax amounts to 2 cents a litre in the first year and only 11 cents in the last year. We seem to have been able to handle those kinds of increases in the past without substantial hardship. You will be affected far less if you reduce your emissions, that’s what the tax is intended to do. Or is it easier to throw others (who are geographically and financially more vulnerable) under the bus? The mindset that got us into this mess, certainly won’t get us out of it. It’s time to move away from the use of fossil fuels – if we do that – there will be no burden from the tax.

Like Dave Urquhart, my preference is not for Cap and Trade.

Michael Nabert writes:

When the largest collective scientific effort in human history tells us that we clearly need to be shifting away from fossil fuels as rapidly as possible, the best the Canadian Taxpayers Federation has to offer is the equivalent of my college roommates letting the dirty dishes pile up in hopes that someone else will wash them first.

Let’s look at the numbers to see how well the “we’re such a small part of the problem that we’re not worth bothering with” argument stands up to logic. Canada is the 8th largest emitter in the world, and has contributed more to combined historical emissions than all but seven other nations. With less than half of one percent of the global population, Canada emits 1.67% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

http://www.statista.com/statistics/271748/the-largest-emitters-of-co2-in-the-world/

Canada has 0.475% of the world’s population. That means that of total current global emissions, Canada takes up 3.52 times our fair share of a number that is collectively far too large to begin with. That number is also clearly artificially low because the way it is calculated leaves out a number of glaringly obvious considerations. In any honest assessment we also bear responsibility for emissions from factories that were offshored in order to slash wages but that are still producing products exclusively for sale in North American markets, because that’s our stuff and therefore clearly our responsibility. Canada is also responsible for the emissions resulting from burning the roughly 5% of global fossil fuel exports that come from us. So we’re emitting several times more than our fair share. Any argument that Canada should not act is, by definition, irresponsible.

If we look at a more honest per capita measurement, we can see that the average Canadian is causing more than twice as much harm to the planet than the average Chinese citizen (typically the first direction fingers are pointed). China has increased the strength of its climate commitments aggressively several times in recent years. China is also well on its way to meeting or even exceeding its targets. Canada, on the other hand, not only has spectacularly weak emissions targets compared to the other industrialized nations, we are in no way even going to come close to meeting those targets. Here’s another comparison: China is investing 1% of its per capita income into renewable energy. Canada is investing 0.19% instead, making less than one fifth as much effort to move away from fossil fuel use.

Finally, there is a level of absurdity about overseas finger pointing. I don’t have the opportunity to lobby the governments of Saudi Arabia or China to change their oil policies, but even if they do the right thing and stop producing oil, our continuing to do so willy nilly would still be roasting our loved ones. Canadians do have the ability as well as the responsibility to impact emissions here at home.

http://www.statista.com/statistics/271748/the-largest-emitters-of-co2-in-the-world/

And that takes care of that.

 


Image Credits:

Canadian Taxpayers federation images used under education/criticism Fair Dealing exemption

Astroturf graphic by @laurelrusswurm is a remix of “Skagerak Arena turf” © by Rune Mathisen [bitjungle on Flickr] is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 License.

Fee and Dividend vs. Cap and Trade

Caterina Lindman represented the Citizen’s Climate Lobby at the Waterloo Region Climate Consulation at Kitchener City Hall in August.  CCL is a strong advocate for the Fee and Dividend carbon tax; which is why one of the things she spoke about was the CCL recommendation to begin with a $30 per tonne carbon tax in 2018, with annual increases of $10 per year.

Caterina Lindman (Citizens Climate Lobby) speaks to discussion facilitators at the Waterloo Region Climate Consultation, August 18th, 2016
Caterina Lindman (Citizens Climate Lobby) speaks to discussion facilitators at the Waterloo Region Climate Consultation, August 18th, 2016

Earlier this month the Canadian Government announced its plan to implement a Carbon tax.

“It will start at $10 per tonne and increase by $10 each year, up to $50 a tonne by 2022. Trudeau added that the tax will be revenue neutral for the federal government. Proceeds from the tax will be returned to the provinces where they were collected.

“Trudeau said that details regarding implementation will largely be left up to the provinces. Each jurisdiction should decide on whether they want a cap-and-trade system (the sort of scheme favoured by the Obama administration) or a direct price on greenhouse-gas emissions (like with B.C.’s system for taxing air pollution).”

— Justin Trudeau announces national carbon tax will begin at $10 per tonne in 2018 and rise from there to $50

Although we are pleased Canada finally understands the need for a carbon tax, we would be much happier if the initial figure were higher.

The other issue is the federal Government’s failure to insist on the use of a Carbon Fee and Dividend plan instead of leaving it up to the provinces.

Let’s let this wonderful graphic created by CCL to explain why Fee and Dividend is the best option:

CCL Fee and Dividend infographic
Citizen’s Climate Lobby Canada explains How Carbon Fee and Dividend works.

Although it also puts a price on carbon, Cap and Trade works differently, more like a game of monopoly that allows wheeling and dealing with carbon emissions. Evidence from elsewhere demonstrates that it doesn’t really work, let alone foster a transition from carbon to sustainable energy.  There is also growing evidence Cap-and-trade? Not so Great if you are Black or Brown.

Although it sounds lovely that the plan is revenue neutral to the Federal Government, but not if it becomes a cash cow to the provinces.  But perhaps worse, instead of being revenue neutral, the carbon tax funds collected are not distributed among the people, it becomes a source of government income.

Can you remember the last time a government willingly gave up a source of revenue?

Me either.

Our Californian friends can tell us: Why fee and dividend is better than cap and trade at fighting climate change.  Although it is not enough, even a weak carbon tax is a baby step in the right direction.

Energy East Pipeline

You can’t, however, say the same about fossil fuel pipelines.


Credits
Explainer video and Fee & Dividend Infographic by Citizen’s Climate Lobby
E
nergy East Pipeline and Caterina Lindman photos by Laurel Russwurm, released under a Creative Commons Attribution License

 

Earth Overshoot Day 2016

Guest Post by Environment Hamilton


Earth Overshoot DayToday is Earth Overshoot day, which means that today humanity has used up the amount of resources that the planet can reliably provide us renewably for the entire year. It moves several days earlier each year; in 2015 it happened on August 13th. The official website makes a number of suggestions for ways that you can make a difference.

The idea that we can continue to demand ever more each year from a planet that isn’t getting any bigger is more than a little nuts, so maybe it’s time to stop taking the word of economists about it.

Follow @EnvHamilton on Twitter and Facebook

Clothes Swap

clothing stall at 2016 KW Multicultural FestivalWednesday, 6 July 2016 from 6 PM – 8 PM Trusted Clothes is hosting a clothing swap at 283 Duke Street West, Kitchener, Ontario
Click here for a Map

Bring good quality clothes that you don’t want anymore and leave with the same amount of new stuff!

Event is completely free and is to raise awareness about textile waste and the environment.

Men’s, women’s, kid’s, baby’s, accessories and shoes – all are welcome.

We have partnered with the Kidney Foundation to collect any leftover clothes with proceeds going to research. Please feel free to bring any clothing you wish to donate as well.
Trusted Clothes facebook event page

Although this is not a Green Party event, Trusted Clothes commitment to ethical, sustainable environmentally friendly (and health conscious!) endeavours will very likely appeal to green folk.